Can unaffiliated voters vote in the March 5 Presidential Primary Election?
Yes. They must choose one party’s primary ballot to vote.
How does the process work?
For every primary election, all active unaffiliated voters will automatically be mailed ballots for both major parties (Democrat and Republican) – one democratic party ballot and one republican party ballot. An unaffiliated voter may vote and return only one ballot. If a voter marks and returns more than one ballot, none of their votes will be counted.
Can I pre-select my ballot preference?
No. This used to be an option. However, it was causing more confusion than necessary and most voters were not choosing to pre-select their ballot.
Can I vote for the best candidate in both party’s primary?
This is not permitted. You can only vote in one party’s primary. If a voter marks and returns more than one party’s ballot, none of their votes will be counted.
Why is there a small hole in my ballot return envelope?
By law, our office must record which party’s ballot each unaffiliated voter returns in primary elections (see C.R.S. 1-7.5-106.5). The ballot return envelope is purposely designed with a small hole so that we can see the color of the ballot that is in the envelope (the Republican ballot has a coral stripe and the Democratic ballot has a yellow stripe) before removing the ballot from its envelope. This way, we are able to record which party’s ballot an unaffiliated voter returned while protecting the anonymity of their votes.
Why can unaffiliated voters participate in primary elections?
Colorado voters approved Proposition 108 in 2016, which allows unaffiliated voters to participate in Colorado primary elections.
Can I choose not to receive a ballot at all?
Proposition 108 was approved by voters in 2016 and the way it is written (along with the accompanying statute passed by the Colorado legislature) does not currently allow for any voter to select an “opt out or do not mail” option. We must carry out the law as passed/written and send all unaffiliated voters both major party ballots. Just like any other election that you do not want to participate in, simply tear up (or write void) and discard/recycle your mail ballot.